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Spreading Positive Vibrations & Cannabis in the New Year

New Year Marijuana
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Joint Opinions

Spreading Positive Vibrations & Cannabis in the New Year

I ventured south to the big city this past weekend and it was an eye-opener indeed. Up here in the hills of Mendocino, we live in a bubble that is both beautiful and benign. Other than fundamental disagreements with some local authorities, our lives are mostly blessed with friendly neighbors and gentle deer, turkey and rabbits. We live off the grid in our own valley of tall ancient trees and a garden where we grow cannabis.

One could say we are well insulated, but we also stay connected through our satellite dish. After all, both Swami and I are city people originally and have inquiring minds. We may live at the end of a very very long dirt road, yet thanks to the internet we can follow the news from the rest of the world. But we have no television and plug in only when we want to, not as a natural reaction. Of course I have also been following the recent political shake-ups in our country and the world and am just as wary of the upcoming four years as all my friends, but I just can’t let it take over my life.

I believe that election night in November was a defining moment for most Americans. In years to come, people will ask: “Where were you when Trump won?” We will all remember that night, when our personal and global worlds were shaken by the reality that there were a whole lot of Americans out there who think very differently than we do. Plus, uncertainty suddenly loomed ahead. This would not be the same old Clinton or Bush show, but something all together new and quite frightening in its unfamiliarity.

It is this fear that I felt so strongly when in the city this past weekend. In sharp contrast to the twinkling holiday lights everywhere, between the sounds of laughter and corny Christmas music at parties and in crowded shops, people couldn’t hide their reservations. It seemed that most conversations quickly drifted towards the questions we all have, and before I knew it, I felt my self sinking into their fear. The negativity was thick. While the choir sung “Peace On Earth, Goodwill to Men,” I could sense that very few people around me saw that as a real possibility. As I said, it was an eye-opener.

I grew up in San Francisco, in a time of peace and love and big smiles on sunny days. So what is the cause of this massive mind change over the past 50 years? The common denominator may be the television news. The world has become a much smaller place thanks to the telegraph, then the telephone, then the radio, then television and now the internet. Fifty years ago people didn’t worry as much about what was happening on the other side of the planet, but now it’s all right in their living rooms. Being compassionate creatures, it is natural to become involved, and stressed. In some cases, it can be favorable, when someone actually takes up the cause and sends money or goes and helps or does whatever can be done constructively. But how often is that possible?  Not all of us can make it to Standing Rock. So while we send the good vibes, we suffer the stress, the cause of so much illness.

The first couple of weeks post-election night were tough and like many distraught people, I found myself often crying and frustrated. When Jeff Sessions was appointed attorney general I literally shook from fear, thinking personally about what may become of the cannabis industry. It hurts to see our country go backwards.

Genuine fear seems to be the common feeling among my circle of friends in the city — at least the ones who watch lots of television. Television has its tricks (I worked in TV for a couple of years back in the early ’90s) and we all know the use of repetition embeds information deeply into our psyches. So when a person watches the newscasts over and over each day, they are exposed to the same information so many times that it becomes believable, frightening and counter-productive.

So what’s my message here? Encourage positive vibes to counter the negative fear all about us. I am not talking about denial — knowledge is one of our best friends — but rather a sense of detachment which enables action to be positive and progressive. Fear can smother, while detachment may free the spirit to continue to grow. Whatever we do, we can’t give up. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but it is fear.” If we can communally release the fear, and the hate, we will have full power.

Being involved in local cannabis politics has taught me a lot and, at the same time, confused me more than ever. It never ceases to amaze me how politicians can straight up lie. Something that seems so obvious, that cannabis is medicine and should be available to everyone in the country, is opaque to certain leaders if they choose to be blind. Again, I am reminded of Gandhi’s quote, and try to swallow both the fear and the hate. It’s impossible to move forward with both of them cramping my style.

What the future holds for us as this New Year rolls in is anyone’s guess. While positive thinking may not cure the world’s woes in all the ways we would like, it certainly can relieve some of the stress which encumbers so many right now. Cannabis is also a great stress reliever, and the combo is even better! My prayer is that we all look towards the light in 2017, and truly be full of peace and goodwill towards men.

TELL US, how are you staying positive in the New Year?

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lawrence Goodwin

    December 24, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Right on, Nikki Lastreto. Thank you for sharing. Viva la paz y las plantas!

    There is nothing that could more quickly enable us to “communally release the fear, and the hate” than organizing in defense of our amazing cannabis plants. We could form large groups to oppose, first, the nomination of Alabama cannabis tyrant Jeff Sessions as our country’s attorney general. Inundate federal senators’ offices with phone calls ahead of his confirmation hearings scheduled for January 10 and 11, 2017. If Sessions still gets confirmed as AG, albeit by the cowards who refuse to challenge the ornery U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck (‘grass’-hating) Grassley, we’re talking about a much larger social movement. As AG, Sessions would have full power to direct the Drug Enforcement Administration to ramp up its Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression program. In 2015, the DEA reports, a total of 4.2 million ‘illicit’ plants were seized, leading to the arrests of more than 6,200 growers and the official theft of nearly $30 million in growers’ cash and assets. In a resurgent DEA campaign to completely shut down the adult recreational markets in 8 states (passed every time by true American patriots!), expect those eradication numbers to quadruple. All of that’s possible only without our loud opposition, starting the moment Sessions is confirmed.

    Otherwise, Donald Trump himself has far less power as president than he thinks. The most insidious forces at work in our lives—far bigger threats especially to the health of outdoor cannabis plants—involve blatant attempts at military and corporate domination. Our 3 main branches of government do not control these forces, even though giant funds for their operations get buried in obscure sections of federal budgets. Almost 56 years ago President Dwight Eisenhower warned the entire nation about these dark forces. Now, many in society have forgotten his warning or consider it irrelevant. My point is that we can vastly improve our chances of survival by opposing, too, the routine geoengineering and poisoning of our skies by the military-industrial complex. Whatever is being sprayed by aircraft is raining down on all of us, in addition to our plants, our soils, our waters. Some day this top-secret military program to modify our weather will be found guilty as one of the most destructive tyrannies in world history.

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